Above are pictures sent by Revs. Conrado Lumahan and Fred Torres showing the damage inflicted by the recent super typhoon to our bible school in Binalonan, Pangasinan (Luzon Bible College). It is being reported that 70% of towns in Pangasinan are still underwater. Below is a letter sent by Rev. Visca to our ministry partners around the world – perhaps the best way to describe what is going on here in our country today.
The humanitarian effort we are doing to our brothers and sisters and neighbors who were affected by the recent typhoon Ondoy is indeed a back breaking job. We keep pushing to the limits of our physical capacity to extend help to those who are in need because of God’s care and compassion and because of you at the other end praying and supporting us. At the end of the day, every time we deliver the relief goods or provide medicine to each of the victims, it is being paid back by a new picture of a smile in their face – a picture of new hope.
The relief work of PGCAG is on-going. It is now a back-to-back job due to the catastrophic damage of another typhoon to properties and lives of the people in the northern part of Luzon. Around a hundred kilometers north of Manila, the rest of the provinces are cut off. Major roads are impassable due to flooding. We are hoping that the flooding of Pangasinan province will subside soon. Rev. Jerry Balbuena, the overall coordinator of PGCAG Disaster Response and Relief Management Group together with The National Director of Convoy of Hope Rev. Raul Manuel is planning to visit and deliver reliefs to our brothers and sisters in the north as soon as the roads are passable.
Last Monday, October 5, the PGCAG Health Care Ministry was reactivated. Dr. Jay Angeles was tasked to organize the Filipino medical team. The Filipino medical team work side-by-side with the Health Care Ministry sent by AG WMD USA. Since Tuesday, October 6, the health care conducted medical missions in AG churches in Metro Manila and nearby provinces affected by typhoon Ondoy. Jesus Harvest AG San Pedro in Laguna, AG Jesus Unlimited God San Mateo in Rizal, AG Dream Builder Ministries Meycauayan in Bulacan, AG Jesus Cares Malinta in Valenzuela City, Payatas in Quezon City and AG Marikina. Next week, AG Marilao in Bulacan. The medical team and counselors have treated and prayed-over an average of 400 patients a day. It has been observed that every time we close the medical mission, a few people still keep coming in the hopes of the mission work be reopened the following day. But we can only do so much on a given day.
We are facing another challenge. It’s been a week now and typhoon Pepeng still hasn’t moved out of the Philippines’ area of responsibility. Last Thursday, we received the bad news from our brothers and sisters in the north- Ilocos region, La Union, Pangasinan and Nueva Ecija has been heavily flooded. The Cordillera Regions have been experiencing landslides and mudslides and were cut off from the lowlands.
Rev. Alfredo Torres, president of Luzon Bible College, sent the following text messages: “Luzon Bible College campus in Binalonan, Pangasinan is now 6 – 7 feet deep. Road is not passable anymore, water current is so strong from river due to release of water from dams. Pray for us I’m sure you want to rescue us but you cannot do it immediately. Help us pray.” Second message: “Water almost reaches our second floor…all our offices, classroom, computers, equipments in chapel, cars, pigs, everything in the kitchen underwater because of the immediate rise of water and strong current arrived midnight. Our school fence collapsed due to strong water current.”
From Pastor Brian Lopez, AOG Baguio City: “Seven AOG members died in landslide. Their home taken by mud. A church in shambles (destroyed) in Trinidad because of the landslide. Wind is strong. Rain is non-stop. School and offices canceled. Marcos Highway and Kennon is closed due to landslides. Power outage rumored to be cut soon. We opened the church for anyone who needs shelter. Or relief collection remains good. (Baguio City) proper is alright. Keep us in your prayers.
From Dr. Lem Engcoy, APTS, Baguio City: “So sad but it’s true…Yes we can only do so much. We helped an AG member in Beckel . The whole family died when the house covered by a mudslide.”
From Ptr. Agnes Niebres, Villasis, Pangasinan, informed us by text that they are now accommodating 13 more children at the second floor of their house. The problem is that they are running out of food.
Brothers and sisters in faith, our calamity-struck nation is far from over. Though our government is trying its best to send rescue and relief into our country’s typhoon battered places, impassable roads renders “Help” helpless. At the same time God is awakening the generosity among our own people… many of whom are walking the extra mile.
The Bible says that God is always in control. He can literally intervene in the hardest of situations. All He desires from us is to keep believing and trusting in His Power and Wisdom.
We’ll be keeping you posted. I’m looking for a window where I could at least find rest from all these calamities… but looks like it may take a while. Our people need immediate assistance.